MAF makes commitment for two more years in tsunami zone.

By May 12, 2005

Indonesia (MNN)–Indonesia is allowing foreign Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) working in the tsunami zone an extra 30 days on their visas.

They were supposed to have expired Tuesday, but the government says the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency for Aceh and Nias extra time to assess the work of relief organizations.

For some, the restrictions weren’t as severe. Mission Aviation Fellowship was one agency that won’t be affected. MAF is registered as an Indonesian group, rather than a foreign group.

With teams scrambling to help first and second wave responders, MAF’s Gene Jordan says they found out quickly that there were water-logged areas they couldn’t reach. “Since we’re planning on staying in that province for probably at least two years we decided that we needed to have our own airplane that had the capability of landing not only on land, but also splashing down in the ocean, in the river, in the inlets, to better satisfy the needs of helping those who are rebuilding that area of the country.”

Because of that, MAF-Europe loaned an amphibious plane (pictured above) to help the teams get into areas that were difficult to access.

Once teams saw how much more they could do, the choice was obvious. Their team needed to get their own amphibious plane, which is exactly what they did.

With the hundreds of aid groups flying in and out of the region, the question was asked if it was possible for their teams made a difference for the kingdom.

Jordan says ministry happens moments after the pilots get out of the plane. Typically, the local people would see a North American pilot bringing materials, and then, all of a sudden, “‘Hey! This guy opened his mouth and spoke our language!’ So, that opened things up for direct communication to share with the people, ‘This is why I am here–in response to Christ’s command to love each other to care for each other and demonstrate His love.”

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